Francis Marbury was born in 1555 in London to William and Agnes Lenton Marbury during the reign of Queen (Bloody) Mary Tudor. He entered Christ's College, Cambridge in 1571, and began his career as a clergyman, but soon ran into trouble when his views that ministers should be educated, rather than appointed according to political or family connections. He was ordained a deacon in 1578, but was soon in trouble with the authorities for his views, and was tried before Bishop Aylmer in London and imprisoned. For years, he was unable to preach, and lived in Alford, Lincolnshire. He wrote a play, "The Contract of Marriage between Wit and Wisdom", which was performed in London, apparently, and well received. By 1585, he was a curate and schoolmaster in Alford. In 1590, he appealed to Lord Burleigh, Sir Francis Bacon's uncle, to help him get his preaching license back. Apparently, his friends Burleigh and perhaps Bacon were able to help him, and he was preaching by 1594.

In 1605 he was raised to rector of St. Martin's Vintry, London, and was ordained a priest, with the approval of the archbishop of Canterbury, so either he became less radical in his old age, or there was a political change in the Anglican hierarchy. He died in 1611, and was long remembered as a preacher, and was referred to as such in the writings of Sir Francis Bacon.

Francis Marbury had two wives, Elizabeth Moore, and following her death, Bridget Dryden, a descendent of the Plantagenet kings and a relative of the poet, John Dryden. We are descended through Bridget's daughter Anne.

Here are some web pages about Francis Marbury:

Cousin John Pratt's page

Wikipedia entry

Sam Behling's page